Copper River Seafoods shuts down Kenai operations this salmon season

The salmon company cited the fisheries management plan, rising production costs and poor forecasts

Kenai fish processor Copper River Seafoods announced it would not operate on the Kenai Peninsula this salmon season, citing difficulties in the fishing industry in the Cook Inlet area.

In a letter posted online, CEO Scott Blake said the company decided against purchasing salmon on the peninsula for several reasons.

“Due to changes to the Cook Inlet Salmon Management Plan, rising production costs and poor forecasts, Copper River Seafoods will not be operating during the salmon season on the Kenai Peninsula this year,” a- he stated in the letter.

The processor was started by four Alaskan anglers in 1996, according to the company’s website.

Requests for comment were not returned by Copper River Seafoods on Tuesday afternoon.

The letter, however, indicated that another fish processing plant would take the place of Copper River Seafoods. Rogue Wave Processing will source fish from Kenai, Kasilof and Ninilchik and process the catch at the Kalifornsky Beach Road plant, the company said in the letter.

Copper River Seafoods will still have a presence on the Kenai Peninsula in Homer and Whittier, the letter says, as well as continuing operations in its Cordova, Prince William Sound and Bristol Bay.

“We appreciate your support during our period of operation at Kenai,” the CEO said in the letter.

Contact journalist Camille Botello at [email protected]

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Tanya S. Norvell